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5 Things We Can Learn from Past Office Design Trends

Since the rise of office work, the workplace has continued to evolve and transform to meet the needs of an increasingly dynamic, unpredictable, and technologically-advanced business world. The most successful workplace designs look to the past for lessons in both what works and what doesn’t, and we can build on this experience to improve our enjoyment, productivity, and efficiency. Just take a look at the differences between original office cubicles and modern office cubicles! Here are some great examples of what we’ve learned from office design trends of the past.

1. How to Bring People Together to Maximize Efficiency 

The pre-1945 generation pioneered the idea of a mass office space, bringing hundreds of workers together to work in their individual roles towards common organizational goals. 

An American engineer, Fredrik Taylor, has been credited with starting this trend that became the foundation of the traditional office space as we know it today. He designed ordered, efficient mass office spaces, spreading staff over a single floor with a separate space for management. In this way, the use of space was optimized to ensure every square foot was being utilized.

2. How to Separate Groups of Workers to Streamline Workflow

If you go into almost any office space, you’re going to recognize a common pattern in the design of their floorspace – departmentalization. This concept was first brought into practice in the 1950s, and is thought to have been pioneered by the Schnelle brothers, two German designers. 

The idea was to create an office landscape that could be applied in any industry to businesses of any size. As a result, we still tend to compartmentalize office space, giving different departments like IT, accounting, HR, administration, marketing, and so forth their own, designated space complete with the functionality they require.

3. The Need for Privacy 

In the 60s and 70s, telephonic communication became the key to booming industries. This meant that you not only had to maximize floor space use and productivity, but you also had to try to contain the noise that resulted from telephonic communication. 

This made cubicle systems the go-to solution, while offices were still reserved for management who needed the most privacy in which to conduct business. Everyone else got partial shelter from the ringing by using portable walls.

4. The Need for Collaboration 

Again, technology was the driving force behind this office design change. As computer technology gained ground in leaps and bounds, and the Internet transformed how we do business, organizations implemented critical changes to design that we can still see today. This was the rise of the open-plan office; a space that allowed teams to collaborate and work together effectively, driving creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

Understandably, tech companies were the driving force behind these design changes. Today’s office designs still make use of a collaborative approach as the foundation for most organizations.

5. How to Be Creative With Style and Space

If we look at some of the most innovative and creative office designs of today, like those created by Google and Facebook, they seem unrecognizable from the traditional offices of the past. But, that’s where these lessons came from. 

In the 1970s, offices started getting more creative and more comfortable. You saw bright, bold colors indoors and the installation of sculptures and artworks in offices. This was also the period when ergonomic office furniture was first created, recognizing the need to support the health of workers by allowing them to adjust the workplace to their needs. 

We can see this mirrored in the most innovative office designs, where the staff is encouraged to utilize furniture and spaces to suit their different tasks. With collaborative furniture and private workspaces, informal meeting spaces and cafes, sit/stand desks, and ergonomic furniture, today’s office workers have more ways to make the office work for them, not only supporting health but also productivity.

Modern Office Cubicles, Ergonomic Desks and Office Design Services in NJ

At BE Furniture, we assist our clients in achieving an optimal workspace for their business. Whether you are looking to remodel your office design completely or replace your outdated furniture with modern office chairs, modern office cubicles, and cubicle desk systems, our experienced team can handle it all. 

For more information about our modern office design services and office furniture solutions, which include glass partition wall units, modern office cubicles, ergonomic furniture, and more, please contact us today or visit our website at free citation generator